The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

Nov 13, 2019

Of Special Interest in Alabama

     The American Cancer Society is out with an annual report on lung cancer....a disease of special note for Alabama because Governor Kay Ivey has been treated for a cancer on one of her lungs. The report notes:

The five-year survival rate of lung cancer, which was 21.7% nationally, also varied by state -- ranging from 26.4% in Connecticut to 16.8% in Alabama, according to the report.

     I wish nothing but a long remainder of her life for the Governor, but the report suggests only 16.8% of Alabama residents diagnosed with lung cancer will survive for five years. The majority will not.
     As much as 90% of lung cancers are attributed to smoking.

     Was the Governor ever a smoker? I have not seen that information in public anywhere. 
     I don't know why the question has apparently not been asked. That information could convince a young Alabamian not to start smoking...or to quit if they already smoke.

(As I have noted in previous posts about the Governor's lung cancer diagnosis, I smoked for decades and quit almost twenty years ago. My health is excellent, as I hope is the Governor's.)

Move Along---Nothing To See Here---NO HATE IN ALABAMA

The U.S. Justice Department released its annual crime statistics report on Wednesday, including the number of hate crimes.

There were none in Alabama.

At least there were none reported in Alabama.

Not a single hate crime reported by 98 law enforcement agencies. 

Alabama was one of two states reporting not a single hate crime in 2018. The other state was Wyoming, home to the 1998 Mathew Shepard torture killing.

Dana Martin, shot to death in Montgomery last January
     And we know of at least one hate crime in Alabama that will apparently not be reported next November 12th: the first U.S. trans murder of 2019. It happened in Montgomery and remains unsolved.

     The crime report didn't get much play in Montgomery media yesterday because of the historic inauguration of Steven Reed as the city's first black mayor in 200 years, a sign of real change. 

     And perhaps there will be more change between now and next year's Alabama hate crime report. A change in reporting the truth.

Let The Hearings Begin (On Live TV)

The Birmingham National Weather Service gets a shout-out in a N.Y. Times column this morning:

Trump’s Contempt for True Professionals

It’s driving the impeachment inquiry. It’s dooming his presidency.
Opinion Columnist

An excerpt:

It’s the professionals who keep pushing back at him, whether at the Federal Reserve, the Birmingham, Ala., office of the National Weather Service or the State Department, which is where Taylor, Yovanovitch and this week’s other impeachment witness, George Kent, worked.

Nov 12, 2019


     Apparently that's the case after the liberal Civil Rights organization hired a law firm know for anti-unions battles to oppose SPLC worker union-organizational activities. The union organizers issued a statement:

“Management's refusal to voluntarily recognize the union and decision to hire a law firm that specializes in 'union avoidance strategies' are counter to SPLC's values...The Center cannot truly claim to support workers' rights, while also hiring a 'union avoidance' law firm to prevent its own workers from exercising our right to collective bargaining.”

The Montgomery Advertiser quotes Lecia Brooks, the chief workplace transformation officer for the SPLC:

 ...."unions reflect values that are in our DNA" and said management would “not engage in an anti-union campaign.” 
"SPLC is unequivocally supportive of employee rights in every aspect, especially employees’ right to organize, and we look forward to continuing discussions with our staff that will help make the organization stronger for the communities we serve," the memo said.
Olvera wrote that the SPLC was “thoughtful” when considering counsel for representing management in the process. 
“While we understand Hunton represents clients that desire to remain union-free, they also represent clients that voluntarily recognize unions based on Hunton’s legal advice and counsel," the statement said. "Our understanding is that Hunton is known in the marketplace as the type of firm that is not a union-busting firm.”


Poetry: Comfort

I sit with the Reverend for hours,
often holding his hand
since spoken communication
is difficult now.

I know he senses my hand in his,
23 years (and more) different!

But this photo! almost matching pair
in my mind's eye.


Demopolis? Why Demopois?

That's the Alabama city with the state's highest Divorce rate, reports 24/7 WallStreet

Demopolis, Alabama
  • Divorced population: 18.9%
  • Divorced population, statewide: 12.5%
  • Married population: 33.4%
  • Median household income: $25,942
  • Households earning less \]
  • than $10,000: 22.8 
  • Along with New York, northeastern states New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania have among the lowest divorce rates, while southern states including Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia have among the highest.
  • So much for the Bible belt. 

Montgomery needs more parks!

An annual study by The Trust for Public Land finds:

In Montgomery, Alabama,

152,303 people don't have a park within a 10 minute walk of home

which the group says means
  • they are at increased risk of stress, depression, and poor mental health outcomes.
  • they are at increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions related to inactivity.
  • they are more vulnerable to heat waves, flooding, and other extreme weather events.

None of the top ten cities in the report are in the Deep South, despite our weather generally more conducive to visiting parks.

Nov 11, 2019

Learning & Working

Career Facts  

12: The average person changes jobs 12 times throughout their career.
6: Of every 10 adults, six lack basic information and communication technology skills or have no computer experience.
82 percent: About 8 in 10 U.S. adults say that by 2050, robots and computers will definitely or probably do much of the work currently done by humans.
26.2 million: The number of workers who could be displaced by automation.

Veterans Day 2019

And Veterans of ALL Services and Engagements

Nov 10, 2019

F-35 Helmet Bug Fix?

     Bloomberg reports the Pentagon has developed a fix for the pilot helmets problems on the F-35.

 “In partnership with the F-35 Joint Program Office and our U.S. Navy customer, we’ve been working to transition the helmet technology from a traditional LCD to an Organic LED system,” Program Manager Jim Gigliotti said by email. Lockheed Martin did not provide a figure for the number of helmets requiring modification or the upgrade cost.

     A squadron of the fighter jets is due in Montgomery for the Alabama Air National Guard in 2023.

Chicken Wars

From today's New York Times' story about the sandwich war between  two chicken franchises: 

"In a Facebook post in August, Nadiyah Ali, a nurse from Katy, Texas, compared the (Popeyes) sandwich to a rival’s: Chick-fil-A’s version, she wrote, tasted as if it were made “by a white woman named Sarah who grew up around black people.” The Popeyes sandwich, she added, tasted “like it was cooked by an older black lady named Lucille.”
Black people were saying they liked the chicken not just for its taste, but also for the feelings of home cooking it evoked. It was the type of chicken they could take to a family potluck and not get a side-eye.
“You most definitely can take a bucket of Popeyes chicken, and nobody’s going to say anything,” said Los, 27, who declined to give his last name as he left a Popeyes in Kansas City, Mo. “They’ll be like, ‘Ah, who cooked this?’"

Military Times Review of "Midway". Ouch.

The Military Times newspaper apparently did not like the move Midway, released just in time for Veterans Day. From their review:

 Use the 2 hours, 18 minutes to instead do something more enjoyable, like repeatedly smashing your face into a wall.

     Like all military stories or scripts written and produced by people with no military background, they try to somehow not offend anyone.
"...the last on-screen wording says, "This film is dedicated to the Americans and Japanese who fought at Midway.”

The same fanatical Japanese military who killed over 40 percent of American prisoners of war or used prisoners for rifle and bayonet target practice? The same who massacred at least 20 million Chinese men, women and children? The same who committed systemic rape of Chinese girls and women using bats, bottles, or bayonets as tools of mutilation before carrying out executions? The same who, according to Ian Toll’s “Conquering Tide,” would have children form into a circle, toss in a live hand grenade and have them play with until it exploded? The same who, when hungry, actually stripped muscle from living humans to eat? The same who used Chinese civilians for testing diseases and pathogens for biological warfare?

Even in the movie, Japanese officers take an American POW, tie rope around his hands that has an anchor attached to the other end, and toss the heavy weight into the Pacific Ocean.

 You might want to avoid seeing the movie with any still living WWII veterans. Or probably not with any veteran, or anyone who is related to or friends with a veteran. Or anyone who knows someone was knows a veteran.

(BUT the same military publication praises a movie that comes out next month about WWI. Watch a trailer for 1917 HERE.) 

UPDATE: someone pointed me to a CBS article about the worst movies of this century (so far). Midway is not on the list, but another film is described his way:

Based on the novel of the same, "Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000" is "the worst movie in living memory," says Time. 

And another:

The fifth "Scary Movie" is "so massively unenjoyable, a hate crime against cinema, a ringing indictment of the depths commercialism will go to in search of the lowest common denominator," says

So there.

UPDATE: (Despite that review, Midway had a great opening weekend--- topping th box office for Dr. Sleep!)

The U.S. Government's Terrible Behavior after WWI

The mothers & unmarried widows of men killed in WWI were to be sent to see the graves in Europe.

"The journey was enabled by legislation signed by President Calvin Coolidge on March 2, 1929, just before he left office. It authorized mothers and unmarried widows of deceased American soldiers, sailors, and marines buried in Europe to visit their loved ones’ final resting places. All reasonable expenses for their journey were paid for by the nation." always in the U.S., there was the question of race.  

The Smithsonian Magazine has the story.

Nov 8, 2019

Something to Think About, to ASK on Monday, on Veterans Day.

From Alabama Arise:

Governor Ivey, on Veterans Day...why don't you announce your support to expand Medicaid? part to help living veterans.

More from Alabama Arise HERE.

By the way, it is Veterans Day, not Veteran's Day.  
HERE's some other background about the day from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Nov 7, 2019


     Starting in December, Sears will close another 96 stores, leaving the retailer with 182 locations. That is down from the 425 stores Eddie Lampert acquired when he rescued Sears from bankruptcy proceedings in a $5.2 billion deal earlier this year.

     The only Sears store that was still operating in Alabama was in the Riverchase Galleria. It is being closed. Montgomery's store closed in 2016.

      Despite that, Lambert and the other Sears owners have won a $250-Million loan today.

     That's why I'm not in banking. I would never advance a chain with that situation a quarter of a billion dollars (though Lampert is a billionaire, so maybe he knows something about money that I clearly do not!)

Crimson Politics

Saturday's Alabama-LSU game is turning into a all-politics event.
We already knew the president was planning to be in Tuscaloosa, and that has raised the possibility that Donald Trump could be booed at the game (which happened recently at an NFL game and a marshal- arts event). The school SGA issued a letter---later withdrawn--- threatening the students with losing their season seats if they boo the president. 

  • A go-fund-me effort quickly raised $5,000 to bring the Trump balloon to T-town for the game. 
  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala) accepted an invitation to be on if newly announced candidate for Jones seat---former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions also shows up???

Will Trump actually show? Will anyone at Bryan-Denny boo him? Will Sessions and Jones meet and boo each other?

Makes for great TV, as if the game itself wasn't enough.

Airing in Montgomery at 2:30, on CBS 8
 UPDATE: There wasn't much booing about the president, but no shortage of boo-hooing about the score. LSU won 46 - 41.

Assault on Boomers

“You don’t like change, you don’t understand new things especially related to technology, you don’t understand equality,” 

A 20 year old college student quoted in the NY Times.


And thank you to the generation that helped get Trump elected by voting for sure losers.

How Safe Do You Feel?

"The 72% of Americans who said they felt safe walking alone at night ranks the country about 46th on this measure and is unchanged from what Gallup observed in 2017."

Gallup ranks the countries of the world by how safe they are, and how safe they feel

"Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?"
(Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry)

The N.Y. Times Gives Ray Jenkins The Obit He Deserved.

Lifelong newspaper journalist Ray Jenkins called it “the most significant story I ever wrote.”

13 paragraphs. 

And it didn't even have his name on it. 

Jenkins was an editor in Montgomery. He died on 10-28, and the Times gives him his due HERE today.

Four to Six Weeks

An ancient safe on display in the office of the Alabama State Treasurer.
 Back in ancient times---say 1990---ordering something by phone came with a promise the delivery would be made in that time frame.
    Four to six weeks!
    That sounds especially onerous these days, when more than one day's delay is considered soooo sloooow.

     So in my retired life, transferring an IRA from one financial firm to another, I was shocked to hear them say it would take that "four to six weeks" for the money to move.

     As it turns out it was moved in a matter of a couple of days, BUT.....

    The institution holding the money transferred it by writing a check and mailing it to the other company!

    Don't they know about, er, computers? And that Internet thing?
    Think that might be intentional? Of course. But when you own money for a bill....

     Wish I could name the old and new company, but....